Robert Johnson

Senior Lecturer
Lecturer A
DRL 2C11
(215) 898-5111
(215) 898-2010

I am the Lab Coordinator and Lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania. Here, I instruct and develop undergraduate physics courses and outreach programs that promote science education and technology use throughout the School District of Philadelphia. Additionally, I employ high-performance computer simulation and 3D graphics tools to model molecular-scale phenomena that have applications in nanotechnology, microbiology and medicine.


PhD, Physics University of Pennsylvania (2009)

BS, Physics Pennsylvania State University, College Park (2004)

Research Interests: 
  • Nanoscience
  • Computer modeling of nanoscale and biophysical systems


Selected Publications: 
  • Meni Wanunu, Devora Cohen-Karni, Robert R. Johnson, Lauren Fields, Jack Benner, Neil Peterman, Yu Zheng, Michael L. Klein, and Marija Drndic. "Discrimination of Hydroxymethylcytosine from Methylcytosine in DNA Molecules", JACS, 133, 486-492, (2011). (Link) 
  • Robert R. Johnson, A.T. Charlie Johnson, Michael L. Klein. "The Nature of DNA Base-Carbon Nanotube Interactions",Small, 6, 31-34, (2010). (Link).
    *Featured on cover
  • Samuel Khamis, Robert R. Johnson, Zhengtang Luo, A.T. Charlie Johnson, "Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes for Chemical Sensing", Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids, (2009). (Link)
  • Robert R. Johnson, Blake Jon Rego, A.T. Charlie Johnson, Michael L. Klein. "Computational Study of a Nano-Biosensor: A Single-Wall Carbon Nanotube Functionalized with the Coxsackie-Adenovirus Receptor", Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 113, 11589-11593 (2009)(Link)
    *Featured on cover 
  • Robert R. Johnson, Axel Kohlmeyer, A.T. Charlie Johnson, Michael L. Klein. "Free Energy Landscape of a DNA-Carbon Nanotube Hybrid Using Replica Exchange Molecular Dynamics" Nano Letters9, 537-541 (2009). (Link)
  • Robert R. Johnson, A.T. Charlie Johnson, Michael L. Klein. "Probing the Structure of DNA-Carbon Nanotube Hybrids with Molecular Dynamics" Nano Letters8, 69-75 (2008). (Link)
    Featured in Nature Nanotechnology Research Highlights
  • James S. Kurtz, Robert R. Johnson, Mingliang Tian, Nitesh Kumar, Zhigang Ma, Shengyong Xu, Moses H.W. Chan. "Specific Heat of Superconducting Nanowires" Physical Review Letters98, 247001-247005 (2007) (Link)
  • A.T. Charlie Johnson, Cristian Staii, Michelle Chen, Sam Khamis, Robert R. Johnson, Michael L. Klein, Alan Gelperin. "DNA-decorated carbon nanotubes for chemical sensing" Semiconductor Science and Technology21, 17-21 (2006). (Link)


Courses Taught: 

Physics 150

Physics 151